Locker Group produced perforated zinc sheets for Monash University's new Learning and Education building at the Clayton campus.

Case study: Monash University Clayton

The new Learning and Teaching building at the Clayton campus of Monash University was recently completed. John Wardle Architects designed the building and utilised perforated metal products from Locker Group to create the facade. The folded perforated metal facade covers all sides of this four-storey building and acts as a sunshade without hindering visibility from the inside out. It was no small project, and there were a number of hurdles on the way to completing this truly stunning project.

What were the requirements of this project?

Monash University made a commitment to sustainability, and implemented goals to reduce its carbon footprint. Since their buildings make up an approximate 80 per cent of their emissions, sustainability was a priority for Monash University in constructing the Clayton campus. The zinc sheets that make up the facade played into this. Zinc is easy to recycle, as it retains its integrity and performance properties so it can be reused. The International Zinc Association states that 95 per cent of zinc products used in buildings are recycled.

The facility is truly state of the art. With collaborative and unconventional learning spaces throughout, the campus reflects new ways of approaching education. As a cutting-edge education facility, it was important that the facade of the building was as unique as the spaces inside. This is why Monash University partnered with the award-winning John Wardle Architects, who in turn utilised products from Locker Group's extensive portfolio to give the building its flair.

How does the building's facade reflect that which is inside?The building needed to be as unique on the outside as it is inside.

Which Locker Group products were used?

While Locker Group supplied perforated sheets for the entire facade, it's not actually a single uniform product the entire way around. The large sheets covering the north, east and west sides of the building had three different perforation patterns per sheet. For the parts of the facade that cover windows, a profile with 50 per cent open area was used. Often, smaller profiles can play with your eyes, and so the chosen profile was to allow occupants of the building to see clearly out the windows. The other profiles used on these sheets had a much lower open area, in order to act as weather shielding. The south facing side of the building has one uniform perforation pattern.

The sheets are made of 99.9% pure zinc. As a natural material, zinc requires minimal maintenance over time due to the self-protective patina that forms over the metal to maintain surface integrity. Zinc has a tendency to age gracefully, which combined with its strength, is why it has been a popular roofing material in Europe for over 150 years.

What challenges were faced in producing these perforated metal sheets?Manufacturing the perforated metal sheets for the facade was something of a challenge.

What were the challenges in producing these sheets?

Locker Group's manufacturing team had to get creative in producing the zinc sheets. The facade is approximately 11 metres tall, and the architects wanted as little joinery and steelwork as possible. We were able to produce sheets large enough that only two would be required to span the height of the facade.

In order to keep the steelwork down, these were fixed to three beams running perpendicular to the sheets, and each sheet was fixed only at the top and bottom. Since zinc is fairly lightweight, this was more than sufficient support to hold the panels in place. Since they were being folded in a unique way, they became more rigid, meaning we could make them longer and minimise the steelwork as per the designers preference.

To give you an idea of the scale of this facade, which envelops the building, approximately 1,552 panels were used, which is equal to about 95 tonnes of metal. The perforated zinc panels were folded in such a way that they spanned approximately 8.5 thousand square metres on a surface only 4.5 thousand square metres in size.

The zinc used in this perforated metal facade is 90 per cent recycled.The finished product is simply stunning to behold.

The finished result

The completed project is a facade that really catches the eye. You might be impressed by our photos, but they in no way compare to how grand this building looks when you stand in front of it. The zinc is simply beautiful, and it will look better and better over time, offering something special and unique to every new generation of students and educators that use it. Locker Group is proud to have supplied the materials that give the building's exterior its character. Although manufacturing the sheets wasn't easy, we can find the solutions necessary to deliver our clients metal products that stand up on the world stage.

Whatever it is you need to give your next project a unique visual character without sacrificing functionality, Locker Group has the expertise to make it happen. For more information, contact us now, or check out more of our work via the link below.

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How to keep this monster out of the kitchen plus more great tips from Meshstore!

3 easy solutions you didn’t know you could find at Meshstore

You're likely already aware that Meshstore supply perforated and expanded metal sheets for fencing and screening, walkways and flooring, as well as decorative architectural pieces..However, the true number of applications for our products are really only limited by your imagination.

We've talked about some interesting uses for leftover products before, but did you know there are multiple instant solutions from Meshstore you've never even considered? Here are three that spring to mind immediately.

1. Gripspan planks for motorcycle or scooter ramps

If you ride, chances are you've experienced a mysterious breakdown before. Your mind is going through the motions: Why won't it start? What did I do last time this happened? Who do I know with a ute? Being stuck away from home with a broken down bike and no tools is a huge pain. You want to get it home, your mate has a ute, but you're stuck with the issue of having to get the bike onto the tray in the first place.

The issue isn't limited to this situation solely, you may also have a workbench and need to get your bike or scooter up there from time to time to do some maintenance. Whatever the reason, you need a bike ramp that's strong enough to hold the weight and has enough tread for the tires to grab on to. Look no further. Our Gripspan planks weren't made for this specific reason, but given how aptly they suit the purpose, they might as well have been.

2. Perforated metal sheets for speaker grills

Whether you're sprucing up your home hi-fi system, adding a personal touch to a guitar or bass cabinet, or pimping your ride Mad Max style, perforated metal sheets make awesome speaker grills. Science recently confirmed that the cooler your speakers look, the better they sound. Though it's not all about sound.

The cone of your speaker is the most important, and also the most easily-damaged component of a speaker cabinet. While the difference in sound quality between a cloth and a metal speaker grill is generally imperceptible to humans, the metal is a lot sturdier. This ultimately means that when you're rocking out you are less likely to damage the speaker with a stray kick. And don't even dare claim you don't rock out!

3. Expanded and woven mesh for dog gates

While dog-gate sounds like the cutest conspiracy theory of all time, it is in fact a real thing that people need. Not all dogs are outside dogs. Regardless, whipping up a dog gate is no difficult task. It's just a matter of cutting your wire mesh to the appropriate width and fixing a latch – adding a frame like the picture above is optional. Using a gate like this means you can keep your canine pal away from the bedroom, kitchen or otherwise out of bounds areas of your house.

If the doors inside your home are a uniform size, you can move the gate around as required. A dog gate is much better solution that simply closing a door because it allows you to continue the conversation you're having with your dog. And let's face it, 90 per cent of dog ownership is one-sided conversations.

Meshstore is your go to for perforated and expanded metal, woven and welded wire mesh, and modular handrail systems, no matter what you're planning on using them for. Swing by a branch today to see our range.

Looking for an industrial flooring material that checks all the boxes of compliance?

6 reasons Gripspan is the ultimate industrial flooring solution

Locker Group's Gripspan planking is designed for use in industrial flooring. We've weighed up all the requirements of flooring solutions and developed Gripspan to exceed the necessities of flooring in industrial applications, making it the greatest solution on the market. Here are six reasons why.

1. It features a strong grip

A strong grip is absolutely essential to an industrial flooring solution. Floors with a grippy tread is far more effective in reducing slips than what slip resistant footwear is. Gripspan comes in a number of profiles, from slotted dimple to standard or serrated diamond treads. These profiles are extremely efficient in preventing slips, trips and other mishaps, and don't require any additional treatment or coating to improve slip resistance.

2. Gripspan drains well

The very nature of expanded metal means that no pooling of liquids can occur. Not only does it drain extremely well, but liquids don't affect the strong grip of the tread patterns. This means that Gripspan is just as at home in external or rooftop applications as it is in drier conditions.

Looking for a strong, safe, and cheap industrial flooring solution?Gripspan in serrated diamond profile.

3. Available in custom lengths

Because Gripspan is roll formed, it can be supplied in any length. It's also capable of withstanding high loads, so it's safe to use single planks for lengthy spans. Customisable lengths also means fewer joints, a reduction in the number of support frames as well as easier installation.

4. Gripspan is lightweight

High load capacity and custom lengths makes Gripspan a versatile flooring solution – however, the fact that it's also lightweight adds another point towards hassle-free installation. Gripspan can be lifted and manoeuvred easily by two people and as such, installation is easy and fast even in traditionally difficult to access areas.

Gripspan is a strong, safe and cost effective solution for industrial flooring.Gripspan's slotted dimple profile.

5. Easy compliance

Gripspan meets all of the compliance standards of AS1657 when used to roof access walkways, platforms, mezzanine floors and stair treads. It's been tested according to the stringent regulations for load capacity and grip. Gripspan is also perfectly suited to applications where access is required beneath the platform, as the tighter profile prevents objects from falling through. Many other flooring solutions have to rely on a protective barrier fixed beneath the platform, but with Gripspan, you're hitting these compliance standards automatically.

6. Low maintenance

Gripspan comes in aluminium or steel, both non-porous materials which means they won't harbour grime or bacteria. The planks are easy to clean, and once fixed, stay fixed, meaning there won't be additional issues to address over time.

Strong, safe and cost-effective, there's no better material for industrial flooring, walkways and access applications. To find out more about Gripspan, check out our brochure, or get in contact below.

Locker Group has all your needs for perforated and expanded metal.
What does your perforated metal profile say about you?

The unique characteristics of perforated metals

Locker Group has over 60 years experience in the business of manufacturing perforated metal. We produce a huge range of perforated profiles, and each has its own unique, distinctive character. But what are the characteristics that make each product unique? It's not just a shape, it's a personality, so without further adieu, here is what each profile has to say for itself.

Perforated metal profile: Champagne

Champagne

Champagne is literally the life of the party, but not in an obnoxious way. Interesting, witty, and not afraid to be a little bit silly, Champagne is naturally charismatic and turns heads without even trying. It's said that Champagne once performed karaoke for 36 straight hours and only stopped because there were no songs left. Champagne might not be for everyone, but no one can deny its magnitude.

Perforated metal profile: Aztec

Aztec

While Aztec has its fair share of academic credibility, it certainly doesn't think it's better than you. Well-read, well-traveled, and concerned for the wellbeing of all living things, the uninitiated may refer to Aztec as a "hippy" though in truth it's a hard-working profile that is proactive about bringing about positive change in the world. Fun fact: Aztec is fluent in three languages and continues to appear as a guest lecturer at Universities around the world.

Perforated metal profile: Sheer 2800 / Hexagon

Sheer 2800

Sheer 2800 (or Hexagon to its friends) is smart and creative, like a scientist with a flair for experimentation. Obsessed with the complex geometric relationships of living cells*, Hexagon is a leader in its field and tends to garner respect from all corners. Though it seems fairly simple at first, Hexagon is more impressive every time you look at it and even its detractors will admit there is something intrinsically fascinating about this profile.

*We're not sure what this means either, you'll have to pick up Hexagon's latest book.

Perforated metal profile: Ribbon

Ribbon

Ribbon is often the shyest of the profiles, but when it comes out of its shell you'd be surprised by how kooky and fun this profile can be. Ribbon tends to view the world through the eyes of a child, and when you interact with it, this tendency sometimes rubs off – leaving you to enjoy a wondrous world of colour and shape. Ribbon enjoys play-doh, fire-engines, and spaghetti.

Perforated metal profile: Niche

Niche 250

Not a lot is known about the profile that is Niche. Some say it was created in a small town on the SA/NSW border in the late 1970s, others say that Niche has simply always been. Niche is a night-dweller with a serious composure, often preferring its own company to that of others. Highly motivated and darkly attractive, rumours persist that Niche is either a sith lord or a vampire. Attempts to confirm either rumour have been met only with maniacal laughter.

Perforated metal profile: Herringbone

Herringbone 19

Remember the good old days? Herringbone certainly does. By no means a simple profile, Herringbone has a certain depth and elegance all its own. It would be wrong to call Herringbone a relic, since this is a modern profile in a changing world. Quietly wise, Herringbone has seen it all but won't stop smiling – it knows that best of times is still to come. Herringbone was a confidante of Ernest Hemingway and supposedly taught Stephen Fry everything that he knows.

So, which one of these profiles resonates best with you? Contact Locker Group today for more information.

Check out some of the work we've done in the past.
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